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there was the expansion of u.s anti-narcotics activities in colombia. worthy of debate but this had been under debate for years. >> to mexico, our closest neighbor, it leads to the south. president obama went there very early on in his administration. what are we doing to help mexico in its terrible problem with the drug war? >> this has been a big year in terms of the money we sent down to mexico. there have been hundreds of millions of dollars sent down. more than that, we've seen much more cooperation from the highest levels from obama going down there, other cabinet ministers going down to mexico, to mid level. much more sharing of intelligence, sharing of equipment, and even cooperation on operations. and mexico in the last couple months has been quite successful in identifying and capturing several kingpins which has been a big part of the strategy of both the united states and mexico. so this is one place where this
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last year, we've seen a lot of cooperation and some fruition of that cooperation. >> would you agree? >> entirely. this has been one of those things that builds off the bush administration's policies from a few years earlier. but obama came in setting the right tone, accepting a certain amount of responsibility for weapons, for consumption. really sort of changed the dynamic of this relationship and is now about to be expanded to the caribbean. about to be launched. the caribbean industry will be very similar. and this is, i think, one of the primary points of mutual national interest within the hemispheres. how do you control narcotics trafficking, and right now the primary human rights threat in the region. >> we'll leave it there. thank you both. >> thank you. many experts believe that the american appete for illit drugs is fueling the drug wars in mexico. with that in mind, we would like to know what you think. tonight's question, is the united states doing enough to
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crack down on illegal drug use in this country? you can give us your opinion by going to the "how you see it" section of our website at finally tonight, the government of italy is demanding answers to a question that is boiling over. why has the price of pasta been going up so much? it's not only affecting pasta consumed in italy but maybe you've noticed the price of italian made pasta is up in this country as well. as sabrina of al jazeera english sees it, for italy, pasta and pasta prices are issues of great national importance. >> reporter: the pasta market knows no limits. it continues to grow 2% in the last year. 5 million tons of pasta produced in italy every year. more than 50% is exported to the rest of the world. but one man known as mr. price says pasta pricehave doubled in the past couple of years,
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hurting consumers. roberto sambuco heads the government's watch dog on prices. he has summoned pasta manufacturers and flour producers to a meeting to explain the price hikes. >> we have monitored prices on raw materials and then in retail, in shops, and we're not happy with the trend. >> reporter: five leading pasta making companies in the country representing 90% of the market have also been accused of forming a pasta cartel to push prices up. the head of italy's pasta makers' union flatly denies this. the market, he says, clearly offers a huge variety in terms of price, product and brand. >> no cartel exists or has ever existed. each company proposes its product at a price and consumers decide which product they want
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to buy. >> reporter: pasta production knows no slow-down. it is a continuous year round process and 180 pasta makers employ thousands of people across italy. in this country, it is difficult to find someone who does not eat pasta. italians are by far the world's highest consumers of pasta in the world. on average, an italian eats 28 kilos of pasta eve year. the debate is not whether one likes or dislikes pasta but which type is their favorite. pasta comes in an increasing variety of colors, shapes and sizes. one area, famous for pasta, is gragnano, south of naples. >> there is no doubt that pasta is still the cheapest product to eat for a family in italy, in the western countries, in the eastern countries, in the world. >> reporter: pasta producers are
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adamant they have done nothing wrong. they say this is an aggressive market and their prices are fair. al jazeera, rome. and that is "worldfocus." don't forget to go to our website and tell us what you think. i'm martin savidge in new york. thank you for joining us. we hope to see you back here tomorrow and any time on the web. good night. -- captions by vitac -- major support for "worldfocus" has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters --
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